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But, above all, we bless Almighty God for his inestimable love, in the REDEMPTION OF THE WORLD, BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory!
PSALM Xcy. 8.
“ If ye will hear his voice, harden not your
1...We are taught, in the Scriptures, that as a woman seeks to find a piece of money
which she has lost; or, as a shepherd follows one of his flock which has gone astray; so Almighty God follows the wanderers from his fold.
“ He is the Lord our God,” says the Psalmist, “and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To-day, if ye
will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
" What man of you,” said Christ to the Pharisees and the scribes, who murmured against him because he sat down to eat with sinners ; "what man of you having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it ? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need
no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it ? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.*
In the nineteenth chapter of the first Book of Kings, we read, when the Lord spake with his prophet Elijah, “Behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind : and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire : and after the fire a still small voice.”
* Luke xv.
This is the voice to which the Psalmist listened, as he sung—“ Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit ? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up
into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall
If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. I will praise thee, O God : for I am fearfully and wonderfully made : marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well."*
Whose heart is there which does not echo to the truth of these words ?-
Whose voice is it which has whispered to every man,
“ Behold! the fear of the Lord that is wisdom : and to depart from evil is understanding." Whose voice is it, which, directing the counsels of the wise, preserving the simple, admonishing the careless, terrifying the wicked, following the wanderer o'er land and sea, is “heard through gain's silence and o’er glory's din;" above all the confusion of active life, by the thief at his midnight works, or by the sot and the sensualist in his morning recollections thoughts accusing one another ?”oft
It is the voice, which follows the sheep which are astray; it is the voice of Him, from whom cometh every good gift; it is the light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world; it is the spirit, which proclaims the reward of the righteous ;—it is the God which judgeth the earth!
II... The same voice is written in the “ Scripture of truth,” to which they who listen have “peace," but they who do not listen—" no peace,”—their sky is overcast, their day is a * Job xxviii. 28.
* See Appendix Q.